Mother died of overdose after husband's affair

A HEARTBROKEN wife killed herself because she could not cope with her husband's affair, an inquest heard.

Mother-of-two Jane Atkinson, 48, took a lethal concoction of drugs and alcohol after finding her husband of 20-years was cheating on her.

Her sister Joanne Baylis, 43, found her dead in bed at the family home in Calverley, West Yorkshire, on July 3.

The inquest at Leeds Coroners Court heard how the company director jointly owned a baby shop business with husband Mark but the couple had been going through a rocky patch for 12 months.

Coroner David Hinchliffe concluded: “Jane has taken her own life while she was beset with personal and matrimonial problems.”

A post-mortem examination found she had a small amount of alcohol in her system as well as diazepam and another prescription drug on which she had overdosed.

The inquest heard how the former hairdresser had thyroid and depression problems and that she had tried to commit suicide in December 2005. The couple had two children aged 12 and 19 who lived at home with their mother.

The court heard how neighbours, Jackie and Paul Hawksworth, became close friends of Jane’s and spent the evening before her death having drinks together.

In a statement Jackie said: “Jane had recently split up from her husband. It was last year that Mark informed Jane that the marriage was on the rocks due to him having an affair. She said she felt depressed and suicidal.

“Jane kept saying she could not live without Mark and did not know how she would cope without him.”

But in a statement read out in court Mark blamed his work rather than his affair for the troubles in their marriage.

He said: “(Because of) my work commitments, Jane became anxious. I asked her to work with me in the belief we would have a good working relationship. I also did this as Jane worries about everything. She did have mood swings.”

The statement continued: “I expanded the business which took me away from home. During these times, I made sure someone was at home with her. Towards the end we did have arguments because of the pressure of my work.”

Speaking after the inquest, Joanne, from Leeds, described her sister as ‘glamorous’ and ‘funny’.

She added: “She had a great sense of humour and she was so glam. She was very family orientated. I saw her regularly in the last year. She had really reached rock bottom.”